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Iron deficiency Anemia

August 27, 2022

Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA) caused by lack of iron due to blood loss, diminished dietary iron intake, or poor absorption of iron. Average adult dietary iron intake requirement is 10-20mg / day. About 10% (1 – 2 mg) of the dietary iron is absorbed each day. Healthy adult male loses 1mg iron per day, whereas Menstruating female loses 1.5 – 2mg / day.

IDA is microcytic. MCV is less than 80 fL.

Iron Metabolism

Iron is an essential mineral in the human body. Hemoglobin and myoglobin utilizes iron to carry O2 . Iron also an important component in mitochondrial cytochrome enzymes (Cytochromes P450).

Nonheme iron is found in plant origins whereas Heme iron is found only in meat and seafood.

Iron Deficiency Anemia


  • Low intake of iron: malabsorption (Celiac Disease, PPI inhibit nonheme iron absorption since Hydrochloric acid is required to release iron from the food)
  • Increase Iron Demand: puberty, infancy, pregnancy
  • Loss via Bleeding: menorrhagia, GIT causes (peptic ulcer, Colorectal cancer, Worm infestation(Hook worm), Hemolysis

Clinical Feature

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Weekness
  • Cold extremities
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Headache
  • Chest pain, Palpitations
  • Synope
  • Craving of things that are not food (Pica) – chewing ice (pagophagia)
  • Brittle nail
  • Pallor
  • Atrophic glossitis
  • Angular stomatitis

Plummer Vinson syndrome

  • Dysphagia
  • Glossitis
  • Angular Stomatitis

Investigation & Treatment

Iron deficiency Anemia diagnosis